Karaoke & Motorbike Adventures in Vietnam and Other Stories
Early on in the journey and getting to know each other, dinner conversation was generally about food. Where do you like to eat, what was your favorite meal, what was the weirdest thing you ever ate …We all were in agreement, especially by the end of the trip, that The BEST MEALS are the ones you eat with friends you enjoy! That being said, we did our best to dine on traditional Vietnamese dishes whenever possible during the day and at night we dined on the Relais & Chateaux food at sea. I had my first taste of mangosteens, dragonfruit, (refused the Durian – though enjoyed by some of my shipmates), Longan fruit and more exotic looking specimens. On the ship, I had my fill of ripe papaya, melon and berries everyday.
Prior to leaving for Asia, I discovered HanoiKids Club, a student-run organization that recruits university students to offer voluntary city tours of Hanoi while practicing their English. I made arrangements for two students to meet us for a “Food, Photo and Fun Tour”.
A special thanks to Michael and his team at Millennium Travel! I am grateful to have such a wonderful travel partner.
NEW WEBSITE FOR CATERS!
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
the girl & the fig CATERS!
Taste of Sonoma
FOOD – WINE – EDUCATION – DEMOS – MARKETPLACE
Named one of the “10 Best Wine and Food Events in the United States”
Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction
Chateau St Jean
Some of Sondra’s latest favorites …
May 9 – 12
the girl & the fig
the fig cafe & winebar
Cooking for Solutions
Monterey Bay Aquarium
with Chef Bryan Jones
Broadway Under the Stars
Jack London State Park
Check the calendar or our Facebook page to keep up with us and get in our 2013 Sonoma groove!
Order today for Mother’s Day Presents!
We are getting ready to COOK, ROCK and ROLL.
GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES
Joe Matos St George, MANO FORMATE HAM
If you like Rock & Roll, Concerts, Food and Wine – this is a Music Festival not to be missed!
It seems that summer has arrived early this year, and with the gorgeous weather comes the bustle of the season in Sonoma County. After many years of heat infused and lackadaisical summers spent in Texas, the heightened activity in these parts still catches me by surprise.
This month, I was able to assist with the revamping and re-launching of our CATERS! website. In case you’re wondering what fun offerings our talented chefs and catering staff have hatched for the summer, take a look here. (Spoiler: picnics, pizza parties, a brand new venue!). There are so many possibilities for enjoying all this lovely region offers this time of year, and celebrating the flavors of the season with food and wine is (I think) one of the best!
While working on the site, looking over new menus, studying beautiful wedding venues, and reading up on possible party ideas, I was inspired to take better advantage of all that surrounds us in wine country this summer. But with the excitement of the season coming on, events to plan and prepare for, visitors to anticipate, planting, gard-ening, and harvesting to attend to, there’s a certain feeling that it might all fly by too quickly—so amidst all the activity, I’ll have to slow down to a southern-summer pace once in a while…or, at least, try.
The season starts June 28 – 30, July 5 – 6 with ”Fly Me To the Moon”. The second performance is the “Fantastical Family Night” on July 19 – 20. Additional shows run all the way through August 31st.
The internet has changed many things including the way we make restaurant reservations. We are excited to announce that we are transitioning over to CityEats, a new platform presented by the Food Network. Already in Miami, Washington DC, Phoenix , and a few more areas, the CityEats website for the San Francisco Bay Area/Wine Country is scheduled to launch later this year.
For the OpenTable members that have been making reservations through OpenTable, you will still be able to do this for a few weeks — but as soon as CityEats website launches in our area, our presence on Opentable will be minimal and we encourage you to make reservations via CityEats on our website.
Adventures with Mack the Knife in the Rhone Valley and Other Stories
Happy New Year!
Wishing you the best of everything!
Personally, I am gearing up for a year of adventure and fun.
One of my adventures this year is a cruise to Vietnam in April, and I hope you can come along with me.
Planning a Journey
What better way to achieve some of my New Year’s Goals and get my creative juices going than to host a cruise on Silverseas from Hong Kong to Singapore with a food & photo focus?
Vietnam is an interesting country on so many levels, though I am NOT a history buff and I will not be delving into the Vietnam war monuments and memorials. I will however be looking at Vietnam as it is today. Everything that I have heard and read describes how friendly and gracious the Vietnamese people are and how amazing the food is, especially the markets and the street food. Most of all, I have heard of the exquisite beauty of the country – something I am looking forward to seeing firsthand.
I did not think that I would enjoy seeing the world from a ship, but I must admit, I am excited by this upcoming cruise; I love coming into the different ports, with a glimpse of the land ahead, the busy port with ships coming in and out and the hustle and business of water commerce.
If this is a destination that you have wanted to visit, consider joining me for what will be a once in a lifetime experience!
Leisurely voyage on the South China Sea on Silversea’s Silver Shadow.
My initial bucket list for this trip:
EAT – PHOTOGRAPH – DISCOVER
Take a Street Food Tour from a local
Visit the Markets;
Chau Long Market – Hanoi
Dam Market – Nha Trang
Dong Ba Market – Hue
Ben Thanh Market – Ho Chi Minh City
Take a tour on a pedicab
Take a cooking class
Visit a Zen Monastery in Ha Long Bay
Cruise in a Junk
My initial list of things I want to taste:
pho broth with noodles of every variety
banh mi (everyday baguette sandwiches)
muc nuong (grilled squid)
ngheu hap (clams with ginger, lemongrass, and fresh mint)
cao lau (tangy broth with anise and soy sauce, chives, mint, cilantro, crumbled rice cracker)
thit nuong (grilled meat)
banh uot thit nuong (dim sum with grilled pork)
goi cuon (fresh summer rolls with sweet shrimp)
cha gio cua (crab spring rolls)
jackfruit, soursop, papaya, mango
I am sure this list will be revised a few times prior to the trip!
“Hue is renowned for its elaborate cuisine, developed by the skilled cooks of the royal court. Legend has it that the Nguyen kings, who ruled a united Vietnam from Hue in the 19th century, refused to eat the same meal twice in a year, so their cooks came up with hundreds of distinct, visually arresting dishes (most using the same few dozen ingredients).”
Here are a few blogs that I have been reading that are getting me excited for the trip! Luckily there are no calories involved in reading!
Contact for more information, pricing and for reservations!
1 - Use the best ingredients you can find – seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs and especially a good quality stock.
2 - If you do not make your own stock, you can buy broth from the store. Read the label – use a low sodium version so that you can control your seasoning.
3 – Speaking of seasoning, do it in layers – a little bit of salt in each of the preparation steps will prevent over seasoning.
4 - If you want a creamy soup, try nonfat Greek yogurt instead of cream, but remember to add it to the soup off of the heat or it may curdle.
5 - Lastly, experiment with flavors and textures that you like and even different garnishes that will change it up a bit.
My mom is heading out for a visit in a few weeks, so I can be assured of having some of her amazing Chicken Soup (hint, hint).
We are looking forward to an exciting 2013, with lots of fun in store for all of us!
Keep in touch, we will keep you posted!
Late Night at Cornerstone
We will be signing books and making a recipe from the book!
As I research my upcoming trip to Coastal Vietnam, I am getting more and more excited to go! Of course, I am thinking about the food and what interesting dishes I will get to see and taste. I am dreaming of the markets (which look to be on small boats) and bicycles, and I am inspired by the colors of the landscapes and the big smiles of not only the Buddhas but the children and the locals in their homes.
Follow my Vietnam Pinterest Board and see if you can see where my excitement is coming from!
Ping Pong in Sonoma!
Our first Ping Pong Social was a success! Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the festivities. We saw some incredible games with trick shots, spin and even a few bulls eyes.
After about 8 rounds, we were able to crown Joe the winner of the 1st Double Elimination Championship.
The chefs prepared an array of food appropriate for Ping Pong, including Parmesan-Truffle Popcorn, Miniature Beef-Brie Sliders, Spicy Chicken Wings, Sinful Macaroni & Cheese, Antipasti, and a Dessert Buffet.
We had an official Ball Girl, Tournament Timer & Score Keeper and Barmen!
Look for more Ping Pong Socials in the Future or Host one at Suite D for your friends next year!
Visit our new webstore, same great products,easier to find what you are looking for!
If you are a retailer and are interested in carrying our products in your store - give us a call at 866-420-FIGS
STAY TUNED FOR D CAFE at SUITE D
Our D CAFE will POP-UP in January.
Wed & Thur Nights will be Dinner at the D ~ featuring a different set menu each week.
Expect great reasonably priced comfort food from our Chefs, unique wines and a bit of fun!
Tickets must be pre-paid through EVENTBRITE in advance.